Leadership Florida, Florida Press Association will team up to host US Senate debates

in Uncategorized by

The successful statewide partnership that produced historic candidate debates in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010 is back – this time to help Floridians choose their next U.S. Senator,according to a press release.

“Decision 2012: Before You Vote,” a project created by Leadership Florida, in partnership with the Florida Press Association, will produce an exciting new debate series for the 2012 election cycle featuring the candidates in both the Florida primary and general elections for the U.S. Senate. Many political observers consider this Florida contest the most-watched U.S. Senate race in the country.

The partnership’s Decision 2010 debates for the Governorship and U.S. Senate were broadcast statewide, simultaneously, in all 11 media markets — a historic feat that Decision 2012 plans to replicate.

The first debate will occur prior to the primary election and will feature the Republican candidates for U.S. Senate. To date, Adam Hasner, George LeMieux, Mike McAlister and Craig Miller all have confirmed their participation. The second debate will occur in October 2012, in advance of the November general election. Incumbent – Sen. Bill Nelson (D) is expected to face his Republican nominee opponent at that time.

Debate participation criteria and additional details are posted at here.

“Decision 2012: Before You Vote” provides Floridians the opportunity to learn more about Florida’s most pressing issues and our state’s democratic process,” said Lila Jaber, Chair of Leadership Florida, and a Practice Leader and Shareholder with Gunster Law Firm. “Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association are pleased to convene these important candidate forums, and hopeful that they will provide statewide opportunities for open dialogue and discussion.”

Pat Dorsey, publisher of The Tallahassee Democrat and chairman of the Florida Press Association, said that Florida’s newspapers will provide robust coverage of the Senate race, which may prove to be one of the key races of 2012. “These debates will give Floridians an opportunity to assess the candidates side by side as they address the issues relevant to our state.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.